Saric will likely be a lottery pick. His basketball IQ is extremely high. Saric is versatile, can play either forward position as well as a point forward. He anticipates well off the boards. He should come right over to the NBA next season.
Saric was the player of the year in the Adriatic League after leading the league in both scoring and rebounding. He more than doubled is scoring output from the 2012-13 season.
16.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 32.9 mpg, .551 2PT, .345 3PT, .681 FT (Adriatic League)
17.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.5 bpg, 29.0 mpg, .624 2PT, .255 3PT, .746 FT (Croatia)
Saric was second in scoring (20.3 pg), rebounding (11.2 pg) and in assists (4.9 pg) at the U19 World Championships in Prague last summer.
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What Insiders say:
Carl Berman, NetScouts Basketball
"The top prospect in the draft born in Europe, he could be the next European NBA All-Star. At 6' 10' he can play small or power forward, he can score, rebound, pass and defend. Son of a coach his basketball IQ is very high. He improved quite a bit from the 2012-13 season"
Kris Habbas, NBA Draft Insider
"Saric has been on the NBA radar for a few years now and it has been an up-and-down ride. He is a skilled big man that has the ability to play from both forward positions with his versatility and play-making ability. What makes Saric unique is his aptitude to rebound the ball and create offense running the transition offense. Saric can be dynamic in the open court, but his decision-making has been questionable with his nearly 1:1 assist to turnover ratio over the 46 games he played in 2013-2014. Saric has NBA size, athleticism, and can fit into the role of a point-forward at the next level."
Sam Meyerkopf, Euroleague Adventures
"The best European in the draft. Saric, 6’10”, has an incredibly unique game as a power forward who can really pass and handle the ball. That uniqueness plus his incredibly high level production from a young age gives him a chance to go in this year’s lottery. Playing fulltime PF now in Europe, Saric has become a very tough matchup. He has great ball-handling ability, drives well in straight lines, and has amazing court vision both on the move or stationary. Saric’s defense and shooting have been concerns in the past but he has really improved his catch and shoot jumper this year. Defensively, some NBA forwards will be able to bully him with their strength, but Saric is such a tirelessly hard worker on that end of the court, he’ll just out-effort his opponents. If you let him play to his strengths, Saric is a player whose distinct talent only comes around so often."
David Aldridge's Big Board 2014: Power Forwards | Rank: No. 3
TNT Analyst David Aldridge breaks down the top prospects at each position
Croatian Dario Saric could be as talented a prospect at the four as anyone in the Draft, putting many in mind (I know, I know) of Toni Kukoc. At 20, Saric is already a veteran of international play, spending last season at Cibona, in the Adriatic League, leading his team to the league title. His skill sets, tenacity and smarts are all NBA-ready. He's got lottery talent.
"That's exactly who he is," one personnel man said, hearing the Kukoc comparison. "Same power forward mentality as a passer and creator, same size. But he plays harder than Kukoc. Saric is kind of like, you don't know what to expect from him. He may just go out and drop 30 on you one night." More>>
-- Carl Berman and Chris Denker are Managing Partners of NetScouts Basketball, "The International Basketball Connection." You can follow NetScouts Basketball on twitter here, or follow Chris and Carl.